Nets Hype Dem ‘Outrage’ Over Barr Presser Doing Trump’s ‘Partisan Bidding’

Hours before Attorney General William Barr was set hold a press conference at the Justice Department ahead of the public release of the Mueller report, all three network morning shows hyped Democratic talking points preemptively trashing the presser and accusing Barr of just doing President Trump’s “partisan bidding.”  

“Tensions are running high today as the public prepares to get its first look at Robert Mueller’s highly anticipated report,” White House correspondent Kristen Welker announced on NBC’s Today show. She touted how “Democrats are crying foul” over Barr’s scheduled press conference and cited House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer attacking Barr: “[His] handling of this critical moment has, quote, ‘resulted in a crisis of confidence in his Independence and impartiality.’”

 

 

Moments later in her report, Welker reiterated “that revelation that the Attorney General will speak publicly about the report an hour and a half before he gives it to Congress prompting a backlash from Democrats, outraged by the rollout.”

On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed: “Democrats already blasting his decision to brief the White House and hold a press conference before Congress and the public can see the report.” Congressional correspondent Mary Bruce warned: “Well, there is outrage and frustration here in Washington this morning....Democrats overnight accusing the Attorney General of doing the President’s partisan bidding.” She added: “And now, this morning, they are demanding that Barr cancel his press conference.”

Bruce emphasized that “Democrats are fuming, questioning the Attorney General’s independence.” She wrapped up the segment by noting:

Democrats are now taking things a step further. In a statement just now, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi say that Barr’s handling of this report has led to a crisis of confidence in his independence, and they say the only way to restore the public’s trust in this investigation is for Mueller himself to come and testify before Congress as soon as possible.

Like her NBC and ABC colleagues, CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King began coverage of the upcoming press conference by declaring: “Now, Democrats in Congress object, they demand that Barr cancel this new conference because they believe it appears it’s ‘designed to shape public perception of the report before anybody can read it.’”

“Attorney General William Barr vowed to be as transparent as possible with the Mueller report, but in a short time, he’ll hold a press conference to discuss a document no one’s seen,” correspondent Paula Reid complained. She predictably turned to Democrats “accusing the Attorney General of trying to protect President Trump and they are demanding that the full report be released to the public.”

Once again, when the Democrats are “outraged” by something, those concerns immediately form the basis of media reporting.

Here are excerpts of the April 18 report on NBC’s Today show:

7:02 AM ET

(...)

KRISTEN WELKER: Tensions are running high today as the public prepares to get its first look at Robert Mueller’s highly anticipated report. Attorney General William Barr will hold a press conference this morning, even before Congress sees the findings. And now Democrats are crying foul. Just this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer say Barr’s handling of this critical moment has, quote, “resulted in a crisis of confidence in his Independence and impartiality.”

(...)

WELKER: But that revelation that the Attorney General will speak publicly about the report an hour and a half before he gives it to Congress prompting a backlash from Democrats, outraged by the rollout.

REP. JERROLD NADLER [HOUSE JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN]: The Attorney General has taken unprecedented steps to spin Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation.

WELKER: House chairs, including Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, overnight calling on the Attorney General to cancel his press conference.

NADLER: Attorney general Barr is not allowing the facts of the Mueller report to speak for themselves.

WELKER: Further fueling Democrats’ accusations that the White House and the Justice Department are coordinating, according to a New York Times report late Wednesday, Justice Department officials have had numerous conversations with White House lawyers about the conclusions made by Mueller in recent days, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

(...)

Here are excerpts of the report on ABC’s GMA:

7:02 AM ET

(...)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We are going to begin in Washington, where the White House, Congress, and the press are all bracing for the public release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. That’s the Justice Department right there, Attorney General William Barr expected to send his edited version to Congress later this morning. And Democrats already blasting his decision to brief the White House and hold a press conference before Congress and the public can see the report. Our senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce starts us off. Good morning, Mary.

MARY BRUCE: Good morning, George. Well, there is outrage and frustration here in Washington this morning. The release of the Mueller report has been nearly two years in the making, and now, with just hours to go until that redacted version is finally made public there’s a new political fight about the rollout. Democrats overnight accusing the Attorney General of doing the President’s partisan bidding. And now, this morning, they are demanding that Barr cancel his press conference.

(...)

BRUCE: Democrats are fuming, questioning the Attorney General’s independence. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee accusing Barr of waging a media campaign on behalf of the President.

REP. JERROLD NADLER [D-CHAIR, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE]: Attorney General Barr is not allowing the facts of the Mueller to speak for themselves, but is trying to bake in the narrative about the report to the benefit of the White House.

(...)

BRUCE: And George, Democrats are now taking things a step further. In a statement just now, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi say that Barr’s handling of this report has led to a crisis of confidence in his independence, and they say the only way to restore the public’s trust in this investigation is for Mueller himself to come and testify before Congress as soon as possible, George.

(...)

Here are excerpts of the report on CBS This Morning:

7:03 AM ET

(...)

GAYLE KING: Attorney General William Barr will release a redacted version of Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference in just a few hours. But first, he plans to hold a news conference to discuss what’s in it. Now, Democrats in Congress object, they demand that Barr cancel this new conference because they believe it appears it’s “designed to shape public perception of the report before anybody can read it.”

(...)

PAULA REID: Attorney General William Barr vowed to be as transparent as possible with the Mueller report, but in a short time, he’ll hold a press conference to discuss a document no one’s seen. A senior administration official tells CBS News Barr wanted to hold this event to discuss the process that he went through to redact Mueller’s findings. But Democrats are accusing the Attorney General of trying to protect President Trump and they are demanding that the full report be released to the public.

REP. JERROLD NADLER [D-HOUSE JUDICIARY CMTE. CHAIRMAN]: The Attorney General appears to be waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump.

REID: House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler last night accused Attorney General William Barr of helping President Trump prepare a rebuttal response to the Mueller report.

(...)

NBDaily Congress Mueller Report Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Mary Bruce Gayle King Kristen Welker Georg Stephanopoulos Bill Barr

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